All three Sparks-area high schools have different athletic programs offering summer youth camps. At Reed, the RHS boys basketball program will offer a four-day camp June 24-27. The summer camp will be a first-time venture for the Raiders program under fifth-year coach Dustin Hall.
"We've had a couple winter camps, but this is the first summer camp," Hall said. "There's a few nice things about it. It will be a fundraiser for the program, but more importantly than that, it's just nice to have our own (high school) kids work with the younger kids. We want to get the young kids in the community to support the program and unveil some pride."
The all-day junior Raiders camp will offer individual station work, team skill stations and scrimmages. The cost is $100 and includes a camp T-shirt. Those interested can register online at: www.ReedHoops.com.
"It's nice to get the local kids in there and see what you've got coming up," Hall said. "We always have an eye on the local middle school kids, but even younger, it's nice to see where the kids are at 10, 11, 12 years of age. We want to see what we can do to help them."
The Spanish Springs boys basketball team is also offering a summer youth camp. Sixth-year Cougars coach Kyle Penney has perennially held a youth camp, but in years past it has been in late May or early June. The 2013 Cougars camp will be held July 8-10.
"We've done a camp every year," Penney said. "We're always trying to do what's best for elementary-age kids. This year, we're going a little later so hopefully we're not conflicting with their baseball."
Penney is hoping his summer youth camp builds on the success of the Spanish Springs Developmental League his Cougars program hosted last winter. The D-League had more than 70 kids registered for an 8-week Saturday-morning program.
"That was awesome and we're looking forward to doing that again," Penney said. "It's something we want to continue to build on. At the same time, the summer is an opportunity for a lot of kids to do a lot of things. There are all kinds of camps. Hopefully, our camps benefit our program and the kids in the future. Plus they give our high school kids a chance to work with the younger ones."
The cost for the three-day camp is $50. Those interested can email Penney at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We want the local kids to like the game of basketball and we want to put them in a situation where they continue to grow and commit. If they enjoy it, they go home, play in the back yard and hopefully it sticks with them. Then, that pays a dividend when they have to start making teams."
Back in town, at Sparks High, Sparks boys soccer coach Frank Avilla, is hoping to capitalize on the recent success of his Railroaders program. Sparks won a state title in 2011 and finished second at state in 2012. That success has been the impetus for Avilla and his coaching staff to start a youth soccer summer camp.
"We've been getting requests the last several years from our families," Avilla said. "A lot of our players have younger brothers and sisters and at Sparks we try to create a family atmosphere. Now we have the staff to do it and it seems like the right time."
The SHS Instructional Soccer Clinic will be held on four Saturdays: June 15, 22, 29 and July 13. The cost is $35 and includes a camp T-shirt. Railroaders players and coaches will work with 3-6 year-olds from 9-10:30 a.m. and 7-12 year-olds from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
"This should be a fun opportunity for our players to work with the younger kids and give back," Avilla said. "Hopefully, they understand where they came from ... Obviously, the whole emphasis is fun. We want Sparks soccer to be a focal point for future generations to come and make this an annual thing."
Avilla said potential campers can call him at SHS at 353-5550 ext. 33435 or Railroaders assistant Chava Espana at 393-0553.
Also hosting a youth soccer camp is the Spanish Springs Soccer Club. SSHS boys soccer coach Rob Moreland and SSHS girls soccer coach Mike Faker are among the instructors for the June 12-13 event.
The camp is open to student athletes who will be eighth or ninth graders during the 2013-14 school year. It will run from 6-8 p.m. at Spanish Springs High and is available for a registration fee of $75.
Contact the club at: SpanishSpringsSoccerClub@charter.net for registration information.
"We want to get to those middle school kids," Faker said. "A lot of our high school coaches in other sports have gotten involved with the middle school programs. In soccer, we've had such good club programs, our coaches have not gotten involved at the middle schools, but now we need to. We want those kids to familiarize themselves with our coaches and the school so it's not so intimidating when they get up here. They'll have a better feel for things."
Another local prep program hosting a summer camp is Spanish Springs volleyball, the defending state champion. Fifth-year coach Frank Sandomenico already hosted one session of his Cougars Youth Volleyball camp and his program will host two more this summer.
The sessions are for girls 8-to-12 years old. The remaining sessions are June 11-14 and July 14-18. Each daily session runs from 4-6 p.m.
"Our camps are just a win-win situation," Sandomenico said. "They promote the sport of volleyball, which you really don't find at a young age. It's hard to find those opportunities for kids. Plus they are fundraisers for us and they allow our high school girls to work with younger kids. It's a chance for them to give back and see what it's like to be a coach, to try and get kids to do what you want them to. So they help in all three areas."
The camps run $62 per session. Parents interested in getting their kids signed up for one or both of the remaining sessions should email Sandomenico for more information at: email@example.com